We came fairly early in the evening to avoid the ‘queues’. HuTong Dumpling Bar is set over a small and narrow multi storey building where we were directed to table upstairs. There were a couple of tables occupied all by Westerners. I immediately thought this place would not be enjoyed by Chinese but Westerners.
Expecting good authentic delicious dumplings Plus 1 and I decided to order a few dishes to share.
Xiao Long Bao – less than perfect to be honest. The dumpling skins were fairly thick, of which some of them had been broken which meant the soup had escaped from those dumplings. The filling was ok, but nothing to rave on about.
Wontons in Chilli Oil – thin skin, but the mean was fairly tough. The chilli oil was not as spicy as I had hoped for, but a sweet, tangy and hot dark sauce, filled with chilli, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Fresh spring onions are then sprinkled on top, adding some crunchy freshness to each bite. The addition of roasted sesame seeds also adds a subtle nutty flavour and texture to each bite.
Stir Fried Eggplant cooked in vinegar and Sichuan sauce served in claypot. This was a fairly oily dish, as you can clearly see a thick layer of oil floating on top.
My expectations of this place was far greater than what I had experienced. Dumplings were over rated as I could not see anything exciting nor understand why people rate this place so highly.
There are better places to go for dumplings. But perhaps I am more into the flavours and authenticity of the dumplings rather than cleanliness or decor of a restaurant.
Location: 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne, Australia